Two Fonterra staff in Southland have tested positive for Covid-19 and their warehouse workplace at the Edendale processing plant has been closed temporarily for deep cleaning.

Fonterra's director of global supply chain Gordon Carlyle said the distribution centre had been closed for 48 hours from Tuesday.

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The rest of the big Edendale site would continue to operate during this time and milk collection and processing was not impacted, he said.


"Our employees are also members of the community and, as you'll know, there is a significant outbreak locally, referred to as the Bluff cluster. With this in mind, our priority is to take conservative actions and precautions on-site to keep our people protected from catching or spreading the virus.

"The scale of our business – with more than 20,000 employees in more than 20 countries around the world – combined with the global nature of Covid 19, means it's inevitable that some of our people will test positive."

The two staff were isolating at home away from the workplace and posed no risk to others, Carlyle said.

"To protect the privacy of our employees, we will not share more details publicly. Those who need to know the details do."